With our upcoming course "Visual Management & Kanban Kickstarter" it was time to take the opportunity to speak with the trainer and Agile industry veteran - Ben Hogan.
Ben has been helping teams grow agile, and collaborate using visual management, since 2002, way before it was hip. Ben has an enduring passion for awesome stationery and 3M products and is a veteran of introducing visualisation to many projects from product development to business operations.
Ben has a deep technical background combined with experience in finance, marketing, HR, and customer service. Ben has used Lean, Design Thinking and Systems Thinking to create enterprise backed startups from concept to launch.
He was one of the first people to teach Kanban in Australia, and is a participant in the Kanban Leadership Retreat. Ben has spoken on Visual Management at the Scrum Australia and Agile Australia conferences, and was an invited speaker at the Agile Encore conference.
All this means Ben is a fantastic person to learn from, so take the opportunity of this interview to learn what the course is about!
You can learn more about the training and register for the course here:
If you're interested to talk more about the benefits of this course or have any questions you want answered please reach out to me on Ringo.Thomas@tabar.com.au.
We love feedback, let me know what you think of this article!
Ringo: So what is this course? Tell me a bit about it?
Ben: This course works to help you understand what Visual Management means in terms of managing your workload as an individual or in a team. It’s also to give you a kick start in understanding Kanban.
It’s origins came from seeing a gap in the market, people from the business - HR, Finance and Marketing - were too busy to spend two days in a course to do a deep dive into Kanban approaches. People wanted a condensed introduction, so I’ve shaped this course around learning some of the key tools, techniques and ideas and giving people the ability to get a good handle on some of the challenges they face.
Ringo: Who is the suitable audience? What are the sort of challenges someone may be facing to know this would be right for them?
Ben: This training is popular with two main groups: teams looking to quickly adopt visual management practices and change agents looking to support teams to use Kanban
Teams want to learn the fundamentals. Typically coming as a group or sending some people from the team, with the purpose of learning how you visualise work, visualise problems and measure performance.
Change Agents are typically Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches or Delivery leads. They normally come along because they want to widen their toolkit beyond just Scrum and they want to learn more about Kanban, which is a more evolutionary approach and more truly agile in nature.
The typical challenges attendees are facing include:
- When the hiring freezes but the work doesn’t stop.
- When you have too much work and not enough people.
- When you or your team multiple competing priorities and there’s a lack of prioritisation in your pipeline of work
- Problems prioritising between stakeholders
- Low staff engagement or a non-collaborative culture
Ringo: What will an attendee will come out with?
Ben: The view is to give the attendees all the foundational stuff.
- They will have some very practical tips including a template for visualising work, problems, blockers and how to measure performance.
- An understanding of how & when to use a stand up vs retrospective.
- Dealing with too much work and priorities of work.
- Quick introduction to some of the terminology that surrounds visual management, and basic intros to concepts like Lean, Agile, Scrum and Kanban.
- Pointers on next steps
- Access to a community slack channel for support and discussion
- All students get a license to the book by Jimmy Janlen, 96 visualisation examples - included in the course fee
- Reference and resources for further reading/learning including checklists.
Ringo: Can you tell me a bit about the structure of the half-day?
Ben: The day is split up as follows:
- We start off understanding any specific pain points that the attendees want to address.
- Context of why do we care about visual management
- Maturity model & adoption
- 1) getting clarity over the work (where/position, problems, performance & measuring it)
- 2) Introducing controls (capacity & commitment management, next steps/role of a facilitator)
- Materials and resources available and uses
Simple as that!